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January 04, 2007

Thank God Our Leaders Are Completely Different From Saddam Hussein

I've previously noted here, here, here, here, here, and here the uncanny similarities between the thought processes of the Bush administration and Saddam Hussein.

But I've now run across something I believe blows all those previous comparisons out of the water. This is from the Pentagon's Iraq Perspectives Project, based in part on captured internal recordings of Iraqi government meetings; it's a direct transcript of Saddam speaking to his minions in fall, 1990:

America is a complicated country. Understanding it requires a politician's alertness that is beyond the intelligence community. Actually I forbade the intelligence outfits from deducing from press and political analysis anything about America. I told them that [this] was not their specialty, because these organizations, when they are unable to find hard facts, start deducing from newspapers, which is what I already know. I said I don't want either intelligence organization [IIS or GMID] to give me analysis—that is my specialty...we agree to continue on that basis...which is what I used with the Iranians, some of it out of deduction and some of it through invention and connecting the dots, all without having hard evidence.

Now for bonus hilarity, here's Kenneth Pollack on page 250 of The Threatening Storm:

We may not have a perfect understanding of how Saddam Hussein thinks, but one thing we know for certain is that he does not think like an American president... Assuming that Saddam Hussein will think and act like a Westerner -- indeed, like anyone but himself -- can only lead to disaster.


Posted at January 4, 2007 11:10 AM | TrackBack

Pollock is probably not even embarrassed by what he wrote. The editors at his publisher should be ashamed. What does a "Westerner" think like? Heine or Hitler? Goethe or Goebbels? Michelangelo or Mussolini?
And what the hell is a "Westerner," anyway? I thought it was an omelette. That must be it. Pollock thinks like a bad omelette in a New Jersey Turnpike diner.

Posted by: donescobar at January 4, 2007 11:55 AM

typo above: Pollack

Posted by: donescobar at January 4, 2007 12:18 PM

Um....Jon? Have you memorized Pollack's book? 'Cuz there's only like that section around page 37 that you haven't quoted from....yet.

Posted by: Aaron Datesman at January 4, 2007 04:09 PM

I can't disagree with this.

Actually I forbade the intelligence outfits from deducing from press and political analysis anything about America

Those are notoriously inaccurate sources of what is really true about American policy. Less so the political analysis, but still...

Posted by: SPIIDERWEB™ at January 4, 2007 08:41 PM

Tony Snow recently said that the WH reporters were spending a lot more time on Saddam's hanging than on his previous 69 years. Showing that he's too dumb to appreciate the use of the memory hole. Yes, we've always fought Eurasia.

Posted by: Tirebiter in Sector R at January 5, 2007 10:26 AM

Precious wit, donescobar. Simply precious.

In his baleful psychological typography, Pollack achieves the discernment of a pandemic.

Posted by: Woodrock at January 5, 2007 12:19 PM